ASTIA ANNOUNCES NEW PRESIDENT OF ENTREPRENEUR PROGRAMS
Astia is pleased to announce that Yuka Nagashima has been named President of Astia Access Global Entrepreneur Programs
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
SILICON VALLEY – November 10, 2016 ― Astia, the premier organization established to ensure the success of women-led high-growth companies, has created a new executive position of President and appointed Yuka Nagashima. Ms. Nagashima has been active in the Astia Community for the past five years and brings with her a wealth of experience that includes two technology startups and innovation policy having served the State of Hawaii as the executive director and CEO of the High Technology Development Corporation.
“Astia has evolved as an organization from one that originally facilitated access to capital for women, to one that today directly invests via Astia Angels,” explained Sharon Vosmek, CEO of Astia. “With the overwhelming success of Astia Angels, averaging two investments a month with a small staff, we saw the need to add an executive to ensure the ongoing success of our entrepreneur programs, namely Astia Access and Astia Expert Sift™. The board and I identified Yuka as an ideal candidate for the role based upon her background and active involvement in the Astia Advisor community.”
Astia has a three-pronged approach to deliver its mission to propel women’s full participation as entrepreneurs and leaders of high growth businesses: 1) Astia Access, programs that provide access to capital and networks, just-in-time advice, and executive leadership development; 2) Astia Investment, including Astia Angels which invests in companies filtered through Astia’s Expert Sift™; and 3) Astia Think, the research and philosophy that underpins everything Astia does and the thought leadership we provide to the market. Nagashima will oversee Astia Access as its first president.
Speaking on behalf of the Board of Trustees, Mark Houghton-Berry, its Chair, commented, “Astia is fiercely proud of its roots here in Silicon Valley, but its message of inclusion resonates over a far wider landscape. The addition of Yuka to the executive team ensures that we continue to tap into the widest possible range of backgrounds and experiences for the programs we offer entrepreneurs and the community we build to serve the Astia mission.”
Born and raised in Japan, Nagashima left alone for Canada at the age of 11. While she told her parents her desire came from wanting to learn how to speak English, Nagashima remembers the societal pressure against women to pursue her interest in science. After receiving her Bachelor of Arts in Physics from Reed College in Portland, Oregon, she taught physics at Punahou Academy in Hawaii, during which she co-founded one of Hawaii’s first Internet Service Providers. After its exit, she served the State of Hawaii government to lead the High Technology Development Corporation, a state agency responsible for setting tech policy, developing tech parks, operating its incubators and entrepreneurship programs. Most recently, she lived in Denmark, where she observed a variety of approach to entrepreneurship, innovation, and pathways to investment.
“My non-linear career path is a reflection of my entrepreneurial roots. The journey has left me with a deep commitment to the underrepresented. In any position I hold or organization I serve, I endeavor to build capacity in people, organizations and communities. I bring this lens and commitment with me to Astia. With the spotlight on gender and race inclusion discussions, Astia’s call to action is more relevant than ever, and I am honored to have the opportunity to translate those discussions to actions and results,” said Nagashima.
For 16 years, Astia has been the pre-eminent organization working to ensure the success of high-growth startups founded and led by women. Founded in Silicon Valley when less than 2% of venture capital was invested into gender inclusive founding teams, today Astia is a global community of more than 5,000 investors, entrepreneurs, corporations, family offices, industry leaders and individuals committed to this mission. Frustrated by the lack of change by mainstream angel groups and VCs, Astia launched in 2013 its own investment program, Astia Angels, to invest exclusively in women-led and women founded companies. To date Astia Angels members have made 56 investments into 40 companies, totalling more than $12.5M of the member’s capital, representing more than $124M in syndication. Astia’s corporate sponsors include Google for Entrepreneurs, Dentons, Silicon Valley Bank, Salesforce.org, Fenwick & West, Lowenstein Sandler, Moss Adams and more. For more information, visit
Sharon Vosmek, CEO